The exhibitions Urgent Conversations: Athens–Antwerp and Urgent Conversations: Antwerp – Athens are a collaboration between EMST and M HKA, a theoretical and visual dialogue, based on works from the collections of both museums, which includes more than 70 works structured in 22 topics.   

28.04.2017 - 07.01.2018        

M HKA, Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen - Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerpen

EMST, National Museum of Contemporary Art - Kallirrois Avenue & Amvr. Frantzi Str., Athens 11743

Matter as Meaning

(c)image: National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST), Athens
Gesture, 1961
Sculpture , 34 x 30 x 100 cm
iron, coloured thread, wood

[…] In the works grouped under the umbrella title Gestures (1960-1962) created when the artist was living in Sixties Paris, then dominated by the New Realists and their theoretician, Pierre Restany, Kessanlis appropriated scraps of urban and industrial reality. His Gestures had much in common with the work of the New Realists, who had reworked a core artistic paradigm of the historic avant-garde of the early 20th century –the ready-made– inscribing it into public space, the society of consumption and spectacle.  Kessanlis extracts obsolete industrial objects and rubbish like cloths, plaster sacks, crumpled paper and parts of metal machines from the urban fabric and the «And the post-industrial city [which] has become a huge objet trouvé which limits cannot track down» and inserts them in his work.  […]


Tina Pandi, EMST

Nikos Kessanlis. From matiere to the image, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2007